Vegetable Companion Planting

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Assistant Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

               Companion planting can help you get the most out of your vegetable garden. This planting technique can improve your crop yield by maximizing your garden space, inhibiting weed growth, and pairing plants together that benefit each other. By choosing plants that complement each other you can increase soil nutrients, deter pests, and attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. Flowers, herbs, or other vegetable plants can be great companions.

        To increase production by maximizing your garden space, try placing a vining vegetable with a low-growing vegetable. Pair vining beans with broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, or lettuce. To increase soil nutrients and inhibit weed growth, pair low-growing vegetables together, such as bell peppers, carrots, or onions.

        Companion plantings of flowers such as bee balm, marigold, nasturtium, and petunia with broccoli, cucumber, and tomato can ward off fungal diseases on your vegetable plants as well as repel unwanted insects such as aphids, beetles, and worms. Certain plants are known as natural insect repellents. For example, to ward off mosquitoes try planting bee balm, citronella, or marigolds. Plant garlic to deter ants, caterpillars, snails, and tomato worms. To deter mice and moths, plant mint in your garden. Planting herbs, such as basil, chives, and dill with asparagus and tomato can improve taste in the vegetables, increase beneficial insects, and ward off unwanted pests and fungal diseases.

        While some plants benefit each other, the reverse is also true. Some plants do not go well together. Asparagus, beans, and peas shouldn’t be planted near onions because the onion will inhibit the growth of the other vegetables. Similarly, cucumbers shouldn’t be planted near herbs, such as sage, for the same reason. Potatoes should be kept away from summer squash because both are susceptible to blight. Corn and tomatoes should be planted as far apart as possible to reduce the spread of corn earworms, which both plants are susceptible to.

        Bloch’s Farm is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 6 pm. We have a huge selection of vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs! Stop in today and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you! Feel free to call 920-294-6000 or e-mail jlamontagne@blochsfarm.com with any questions. Don’t forget to visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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